https://novelplanet.com/ - 220.127.116.11Kingdom of Dawn, Thorn Town.
The deserted little town situated at the foot of Cage Mountain had turned into a bustling and lively location.
Aside from being an "Outpost" and headquarters for Cage Mountain, the other reason was that it housed the Aerial Knights Academy frontline training camp.
To meet the enormous expenses of the Aerial Knights, the project team constructed many wide and reinforced concrete roads that connected the main road from north to south which led all the way to the far north in the Kingdom of Dawn. The large import and export of resources naturally attracted the attention of merchants from the Kingdom of Dawn, and having lost their trade routes to Kingdom of Wolfheart and Everwinter, Graycastle became their largest hope of making money. From supplying services that contracted them for the entire project to supplying beverages, there were all kinds of merchants.
The business opportunities brought along human traffic. In just a year, the scale of the town expanded by a few rings, with inns and taverns only seen in major cities establis.h.i.+ng all over the place, scattered around and surrounding the town center.
Tilly experienced this change the most by viewing it from the clouds.
Before winter, it was extremely easy to spot the town's silhouette by looking down from the sky above. The dullest color belonged to houses of the original natives that had roof tiles that had suffered decades of weathering, coloring them with the colors of mottled brown and gray. They were few in number and maintained the original appearance of Thorn Town, but in the outer rings, the colors turned extremely vibrant.
There were wooden buildings, stone bungalows, and even cement housing among the newer buildings. After the transfer of the calcining technique to the Kingdom of Dawn, some of the n.o.bles and merchants had already accepted it and began attempting to use these new building materials.
The snow from the Months of Demons had weakened the difference between the new and old districts, but the old districts could still be identified by its disorganized arrangements.
Border Town had probably developed in a similar fas.h.i.+on.
After sending Vanilla and Broken Sword, Tilly returned to her daily education. According to her suggestion, the number of 'Fire of Heaven Mark II' had reached close to 40 units. Together with the 20 odd Mark Is, the Aerial Knights had turned into a force to be reckoned with.
In fact, the reason for the First Army's successful counterattack was inseparably linked to the biplanes' protection. Compared to the machine guns, 'Fire of Heavens' were far bigger threats to the Devilbeasts, and without an effective a.s.sault, the Artillery Squad was able to take advantage of their firing range to bombard the demon outposts, and withdraw before the demons were able to surround them. As long as no Senior Demons were present, the enemies were incapable of drawing close to the First Army.
During every mission, dozens of Fire of Heavens would cruise along the runway and take off with shortest interval in between, their engines so loud that people living in the adjacent town were able to hear them. The spectacular sight of the planes in flight was indescribable, where even a collective charge of a group of knights could was completely incomparable. People who witnessed this scene for themselves all found themselves seeing Graycastle in a new light.
This scene also became one of Thorn Town's main attraction, and when they heard about it, many n.o.bles from the Kingdom of Dawn thought of personally experiencing the legends of the Aerial Knights. Gradually, the buildings around the training grounds became packed with people whenever taking off and landing practices were held as they watched the steel birds soaring into the horizon with excitement and zest.
Tilly even heard that the buildings with an expansive view started charging fees.
But the development of the Aerial Knight Academy was not without problems. Aside from the output of Fire of Heavens, the problem in the number of pilots produced slowly became apparent.
After all, not only did the conscription require a certain cultural foundation, candidates required the physique suitable for flight. Only after fulfilling these requirements would they undergo the next grooming step. As to the duration it required for them to join the battlefield, that depended entirely on talent. Over the course of time, Tilly had encountered many students who performed to satisfaction during practice but became fl.u.s.tered in the air. In the end, these students could only join the logistics team.
If not for the "Fire of Heaven Mark II' being turned into a single pilot plane from the dual pilot system which temporarily alleviated the problem of a shortage of pilots, the Aerial Knights would have been faced with the awkward predicament of having too many unpiloted planes.
Aside from expanding the channels of recruitment and increasing the number of students, Tilly did not know what else to do.
Fortunately, her elder brother also valued the Aerial Knights highly, and more importantly, he did not reject her suggestions. The issue was soon to take a turn for the better with the next batch of students being sent to Thorn Town.
The concentrated flying practice would mark the end when they descended at midday.
As a Transcendent, Tilly did not require the noon break to recover her energy. After temporarily relieving herself of her instructor role, she frequently chose to fly by herself, to validate the new ideas she came up with during the practical lessons while also enjoying the time in the air.
This time, she noticed peculiarities over at the warehouses.
Be it students or ground service, no one scattered, but instead, they a.s.sembled at the warehouses, as though attracted to something.
A guard quickly came over and reported the situation.
"Princess Tilly, it seems that Neverwinter has sent a new batch of goods for your confirmation."
"New goods?" Tilly frowned, having no recollection of such an arrangement. But due to the great distance between the two, such last-minute adjustments by Neverwinter was not strange.
At the warehouses, the crowd split and opened a path for her. Before Tilly could even see the goods, a familiar voice shouted for her.
Molly bounced over and pounced into her open arms.
Tilly ruffled the little girl's head helplessly and discovered that the Magic Servant was the one responsible for delivering the cargo. Swollen like a big and blue balloon, it carefully 'swallowed' the cargo on the truck and moved into the warehouse.
So this was the reason why everyone stopped in their tracks?
No… that's not it…
When Tilly's gaze landed on the huge crate, she suddenly realized that the answer was not that simple.
There were a total of three crates, but the cold metallic surfaces were no different from the ones used to s.h.i.+p the 'Fire of Heavens,' just larger and even more slender. In addition, both sides had scarlet red cloud marks like a pair of spread-out wings.
The decorations on the boxes looked to be of no significance, but it was because of that that they were particularly unique.
Tilly's heart immediately skipped a beat.
"By the way, any specific requirement on the color of the aircraft? Then how about red?"
Roland's words sounded in her ears.
"Does it make any difference?"
"Normally, the party that dominates the sky is in that color."
The ground crew had efficiently removed the fastened bolts on the first crate. As the sealed boards were gradually removed, the crowd let out gasps.
An unprecedented airframe appeared before everyone.
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